Well, for what it’s worth, I totally see where you are coming from Carol. It’s why I was sure that I shouldn’t have been laughing at SF Ali’s very humorous, but very un-PC article. We all live in horrendous times at the moment. The decisions that have impacted folk outwith their control are still very, very raw. As you say, the last thing you want is to inflame the tensions by adding material which gives credence to right wing xenophobes and racists. I can imagine a day when this satirical article makes it into a Breitbart or the Daily Mail as a factual story.
However, there is one crucial thing that leaves longer standing damage. It’s something I spotted over 20 years ago which causes problems because it sends hate, racism and xenophobia underground. That a more dangerous place for it to reside, since it spreads unregulated. It’s “social censorship” which, coupled with criminal charges, sends pariah espousing unacceptable right wing views searching for kinship. The same mechanisms which send paedophiles clamouring for kinship. Indeed, members of such “communities” exist in both and even within both those groups there are overlapping members which aren’t known to each group. Hence Milo Yiannopolous’ defence of paedophiles. They keep that quiet, even from each other.
To me, his ability to poke fun at himself and his culture (With a tint of religion. The confusion adds to the satire) dances precariously on a tightrope between the need to protect the integrity of a group of people in the face of what is now insurmountable adversity and the absolute, universal need to pull in people on the centre or just right of centre. The swing. Trump is making a hatchet job of his support and this is one way to capitalise.
That said, I personally also want to applaud and thank you for saying the things that many folk were desperate to hear. To go against the grain. There are four types that of people when it comes to society.
- Those who defend society as a whole
- Those on the right, who are takers, defend themselves and offend everyone else
- Those who are indifferent
- Those who are ambivalent and don’t know what to think
Ambivalence and indifference are both as crucial as either 1 or 2. Ambivalence leads in the main, to complicity in the rise of hate. Indifference leads to complicity in the rise of hate (it exists whether they care or not). Indeed, you could argue 3 or 4 are more damaging, since folk will stand by and let hate happen or people who are being targeted feel they haven’t got support. Themselves being made to feel like the pariah. As folk saw during the civil rights movement, indifference and ambivalence are killers.
So what you did Carol, was show that not everyone fits into the the final 3. What muslims need is many more voices like yours. “Friendly fire” is an occupational hazard. As I’m sure muslims and their friends would rather have it than not :)